Jan 13 2019
10:09 pm

MarketWatch: A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett Co., according to people familiar with the matter.

Not sure what's left to cut.

jbr's picture

To me that single minded "cut

To me that single minded "cut costs" approach is what makes whatever the news media, and many other things, to which it is applied, mediocre. Things like skilled personnel are a revenue generating resource. When managed by the right people. At that point, you have made a mistake in choosing your management. And it will not work.

barker's picture

Definitions matter

Your definition of what works is not the same as a hedge fund's definition of what works, jbr. Digital First Media doesn't care whether the companies it owns "work" in the sense of being successful enterprises; it sucks every dollar it can out of a company and leaves its carcass behind. To Digital First, that's success.

j.f.m.'s picture

Joe Nocera has a good

Joe Nocera has a good overview of their business model:

But what sets Freeman apart is that he seems to have a rather unique view of a newspaper’s purpose. In this view, his papers are intended not so much to inform the public or hold officialdom to account, but to supply cash for Freeman to use elsewhere. His layoffs aren’t just painful. They are savage.

... And what is Freeman doing with the cash? According to a recent lawsuit, he is siphoning it into some of his hedge fund’s poorly performing investments. Among other things, Alden Global invested $80 million in Homex, “a bankrupt developer charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with committing the biggest real estate fraud in Mexican history,” as Reynolds put it. Most recently, again according to the lawsuit, it plowed $158 million into a failing pharmacy chain, Fred’s Inc.

barker's picture


The Poynter Institute has a good overview of the possible ramifications of this deal going through.


jbr's picture

I recall having a hand crank

I recall having a hand crank toy newspaper printer in the 1960's. It might be time to buy stock in the company that owns the rights to make those again. I can see a certain building being filled with them with part-time minimum wage workers with no benefits cranking away.

fischbobber's picture

Or better yet,

A co-op where all involved realize the importance of each other. Paperboys, route guys, sell your papers. How easy, or difficult is the paper guy to deal with? How much can he produce? How will he do that?

The ad department determines the quality of the rest of the staff.

Writers must be able to put to print compelling work.

Reporters must be able to report.

Editors and managers need to make it work. It will have to work as a co-op in the immediate future to survive.

All workgroups must have an equitable, rewarded by co-op shares (to be transferable to stock) in the operation.

We all have our utopias.

R. Neal's picture

Gannett rejects takeover bid

Gannett rejects takeover bid by hedge fund-owned Digital First Media

Gannett says their offer is not credible and it undervalues the company.

That's funny, because Gannett was trading around $8.50 a share before Digital First's offer of $12. The stock shot up over $11 on news of the offer. Shares are down 3% so far on today's news.

R. Neal's picture

But wait, there's

But wait, there's more...

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 7, 2019--Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) (“Gannett” or “company”) today confirmed that MNG Enterprises, Inc. (“MNG”) has notified the company of its intent to nominate six director candidates, all of whom are affiliated with MNG or its majority shareholder Alden Global Capital, to stand for election to Gannett’s board of directors at the company’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Gannett shareholders do not need to take any action at this time.


bizgrrl's picture

A sad report on newspapers.

A sad report on newspapers.

jbr's picture

Some day ...

"What's a newspaper grandpa?"

"When I was younger, we had ..."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives